Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions and founder of the Dr. Weston A. Price foundation, explains in great detail why we should all be making and drinking bone broth. In it, she explains:
Science validates what our grandmothers knew. Rich homemade chicken broths help cure colds. Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons‐‐stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.
Gelatin is derived from the collagen present in an animal’s skin, bones, and other tissue. There are many health benefits of gelatin, including
- supporting skin, hair, and nail growth
- joints and joint recovery (especially helpful as we get older)
- can help tighten loose skin (especially helpful postpartum, ladies)
- improves digestion
- source of protein, specifically amino acids that help build muscle
Gelatin has been universally known by the French as one of the most nutritious foods on the planet.
From Nourishing Traditions:
The French were the leaders in gelatin research, which continued up to the 1950s. Gelatin was found to be useful in the treatment of a long list of diseases including peptic ulcers, tuberculosis, diabetes, muscle diseases, infectious diseases, jaundice and cancer. Babies had fewer digestive problems when gelatin was added to their milk.”
When I first started making my own broth, it was a bit of a learning curve, but there are a few essential items I won’t make my broth without:
1. Parts, parts, and more parts
Bones, organs, limbs, even eyeballs. The more parts the merrier. It’s difficult to find, for example, chicken feet for broth here in the US. Unfortunately, most of the meat manufacturers are shipping those precious (and unwanted) parts to Europe and other countries that use them.
2. 2 Tbsp of vinegar (I use Bragg’s apple-cider)
Vinegar will soften the bones and help release the nutrients from all of the parts you’ve added. It also acts as a preservative and can help the broth last longer in the refrigerator.
3. Vegetable trimmings (or whole vegetables if you’re so inclined)
Every time I chop vegetables for a meal, I’ll save the trimmings that are otherwise discarded for my broth. For example, carrot peel, onion root, even kale veins. All of these contain precious nutrients that can be sucked out and drank like a vampire.
Make a Sauce
Sauces for meat, rice, beans, quinoa, etc. are made from thickened broth. Once you know how to do it using a recipe a few times, it’s very easy to get creative and start making your own.
Make a gravy by thickening fat drippings from the meat you’re cooking (i.e. a turkey) with almond flour, then add 4-6 cups of broth whisking well, and simmer for about 10 minutes uncovered. I started using almond flour a few years ago, and no one can tell the difference.
Play around with herbs, butter, heavy cream, or coconut milk. Warning: you may become addicted to sauce.
- 1 whole free‐range chicken or 2 to 3 pounds of bony chicken parts, such as necks, backs, breastbones and wings*
- gizzards from one chicken (optional)
- 2 ‐4 chicken feet (optional)
- 4 quarts cold filtered water
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
- 1 bunch parsley
- If you are using a whole chicken, cut off the wings and remove the neck, fat glands and the gizzards from the cavity. Cut chicken parts into several pieces. (If you are using a whole chicken, remove the neck and wings and cut them into several pieces.)
- Place chicken or chicken pieces in a large stainless steel pot with water, vinegar and all vegetables except parsley. Let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Bring to a boil, and remove scum that rises to the top. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6 to 8 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavorful it will be.
- About 10 minutes before finishing the stock, add parsley. This will impart additional mineral ions to the broth.
- Remove whole chicken or pieces with a slotted spoon. If you are using a whole chicken, let cool and remove chicken meat from the carcass. Reserve for other uses, such as chicken salads, enchiladas, sandwiches or curries. Strain the stock into a large bowl and reserve in your refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and congeals. Skim off this fat and reserve the stock in covered containers in your refrigerator or freezer.
- *Note: Farm‐raised, free‐range chickens give the best results. Many battery‐raised chickens will not produce stock that gels.